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Messages - richardgurtler

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301
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 28, 2012, 08:42:25 AM »
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Rediscovering an old favorite...

Steve Roach - Arc of Passion

Yes, it's always very nice to rediscover beauties like this one... :)

Richard

302


Oöphoi & Paul Vnuk Jr. "Dreamfields" CD

This is already the second collaboration between Italian drone wizard Oöphoi (Gianluigi Gasparetti) and US-Wisconsin based sound designer Paul Vnuk Jr., who is also known as a member of Ma Ja Le project (featuring also Christopher Short). Their first co-work "Distance To Zero" was released in 2006 on Hypnos. "Dreamfields" CD was released in December of 2011 on Czech label Nextera, the home of several Oöphoi's releases. Actually, according to the release notes, the story behind "Dreamfields" project started back in 2005, when Paul sent to Gigi some loops, but it was in 2009, when Gigi went back to these sound sources. A quite long time span, but in any case it's my great pleasure to explore now these "Dreamfields"!!! And the album strikes firstly with its stunning front cover image realized by Polish photographer Rafal "Szincza" Kijas, definitely one of my fave cover artworks of 2011!!! Containing four longer pieces (clocking from 10 to 23 minutes), "Dreamfields" open with "North Field: Axis", a 23-minute deeply drifting and slowly spiraling exploration, expressively spiced by various fragilely tinkling bells and mysterious femme voice by Luna. Highly absorbing piece of dronescapes, magnificently portrayed by the album's images. Colossally gracious overture!!! "South Field: Khyber" is colored by rather aerial atmospheres melted with high-tech bleeps and gurgles, crystalline percussions and frightening sounds. Quite soon this longer composition, reaching nearly 22 minutes, passes into more darkened, mysterious and meditative terrains. In the second half also child voice is emerging (poetry reading by Paul's son Paul Vnuk III). This deeply cavernous ambience immerses each listener into mysteriously adventurous atmosphere and unfolds darker realms of the imagination. The next composition, "East Field: Helikum", is slowly and serenely meandering dronescape to calm your mind. It drifts and swells through hauntingly beautiful hypnotic and tranquil solitudes. "West Field: Awua" takes us again into deeper cave system to explore impressive sceneries and formations through swirling dark drones, ominous rumblings and noises, deeply echoed gongs and singing bowls. A truly exciting journey into rarely seen places!!! "Dreamfields" celebrate the creative forces of both, Oöphoi & Paul Vnuk Jr., who have effectively merged their talents and managed to paint breathtaking pictures to guide each listener into magically misty and gloomy atmospheric splendor. A must for all addicts of deep ambient soundscaping!!! And I give extra points also to Nextera for beautiful digipak packaging.

Richard Gürtler (Jan 14, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Hi guys,

yes, at this moment it's the best way to order this CD directly from Brian and his Floating Point Records at:

http://www.floatingpointrecords.com/SeeHearSpeakNone.html
http://www.floatingpointrecords.com/Store.html

along with bunch of older Brian's releases.

All the best and keep on enjoying his music. :)

Richard

304


Brian Parnham "See None, Hear None, Speak None" CD

The end of 2011 brought to us many outstanding works in ambient genre, here comes one of them. Released during December on Brian Parnham's own Floating Point Records, this album for sure marks new venture from Brian when smoothly transfering from desert tribal ambient soundscaping into uncharted terrains of rather aggro electro-acoustic blend of trance, tribal and ambient with hints of electro-industrial thrown in and spiced by various field recordings. Since this CD features no less than 15 tracks, there is a quite large variety of textures flowing through "See None, Hear None, Speak None" album. First three tracks show exactly some of the modifications in Brian's artistic direction. Whether it's high-tech trance tribal groove-infused title track "See None, Hear None, Speak None" or hardtechno-industrial adventurous "Head In The Sand" or harsher tribal beats of "Suspended Plumes". But we can explore many other examples displaying this broader spectrum of unified and interacting styles. For example "Race To The Source" with rapidly breathing grooves later sneaking into mid-paced tribals carried by deep washes, bunch of shorter pieces like futuristically gurgling "Half Full" and "Tipping Point" or more eclectic experimental "Half Empty". Submerging by exciting rhythms is provided also by kinetic electro pulsating "While We’re Here" or by hypnotic hyper beats of "Business As Usual". Of course darker atmospheric soundscapes are presented as well. "Eroding Shore" is warmly drifting organic ambience influenced by Steve Roach's track "Infinite Shore" from "The Magnificent Void" album. Deeply immersing "1111", the longest piece on the album or ominously scary, but soon relieving organic "Everyone Gets Their Turn". Cavernously obscure and massive "Earth Mourning" with haunting didgeridoo parts and metallic effects or cyber groove soundscape "Enjoy The Ride" with hidden catchy didgeridoo and voice samples. Or the closing atmospheric journey with slowly fading away heartbeats, perfectly displaying its title, "Last Breath". It's not easy to select my most fave piece among many masterpieces on this album, but maybe I would go for "Earth Mourning". Or "Enjoy The Ride"? Or the title track "See None, Hear None, Speak None"? Or... In any case, Brian Parnham's newest work is highly colorful, luminously creative and precisely sophisticated with top-notch sound quality. Yes, even if wider variety of styles are bridged on this album, its overall feel is still quite complex and it refreshingly glides along the ambient shores. Great work, Brian!!! And an intensely breathtaking ride for me, even without Arizona Stronghold Nachise, but Leffe Brune justified it too...:-)

Richard Gürtler (Jan 07, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Thank you, Harry!!! I hope you will be enjoying it as much I do, all the best... :)

Richard

306


Amir Baghiri "Live Long And Prosper" CD

Iranian ambient designer, based in Germany, Amir Baghiri celebrates here his comeback to the scene. Almost 5 years passed since his last co-work with Wee Bandits entitled "A Brief History Of Light" and released back in 2007. December 1st, 2011 marks his return on Databloem's sublabel Bluebox with "Live Long And Prosper" CD. "Shore Leave" opens the show with peacefully swirling organic ambience infused with various environmental recordings that smoothly shifts into more active terrains emphasised with gentle and crystalline tribal beats. This heavily textured composition moves through various passages where deeper primordial atmospheres are attractively interplaying with rhythmed high-tech elements. "Forbidden Planet" carefully explores immense realms painted by darker, but warmly inviting washes, again enriched by natural sounds of birds' chirpings. "Romulus" is a 16-minute opus with evolving and ever-changing, strongly organic texture floating from tranquilly desert washes towards highly mesmerizing trancey grooves. "Romulus" creates a very intimate, warmly nocturnal atmosphere and captures a pure moment of natural magic. I know that Amir has dedicated this album to all fans of Star Trek series and thus I should be journeying through sky high realms, but so far the images painted by his soundscapes rather evoke hot and dry nightly desert vistas. But no problem for me, I love these pictures so much!!! And they keep on appearing also through the next composition "Mudd" that features slow-motion spiraling washes, tranquilly sonorous and magnificent! Sort of native voice samples unfold "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and add mysterious guidance to this composition, where deeper drones are later merged with more frenetic tribals. Towards the end the texture swiftly sneakes into calmly hypnotic outro. A quite shamanistic performance!!! "Blood Fever" invades with deeper, droning passages, more colossal and intense, now it's the time when I am transported into fascinating interstellar territories. The heavy drone overlaps to the next piece, "The Minds Eye", enriched by some occasional outer space sonic outbursts, but also spiced by assorted ancient percussions and sounds. Amazingly intense and immersing!!! "The City On The Edge Of Forever" keeps its grandiose, aerial structure with hints of various industrial effects that swifly transfers into monstrously beautiful drones, deep space odyssey has just begun again and my deserted landscape imaging is forgotten. Amir at his most droning!!! "Lost In Space", with its intense organic feel, uniting watery percussive sounds with celestial washes, brings this fantastic voyage into a truly mesmerizing and evocative ending! Even if several of the tracks hold strong influence by the Master, "Live Long And Prosper" is undoubtedly done with big passion and accomplishment, paying attention to all details, including the sound quality. Welcome back and keep on soundscaping, Amir!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 06, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

307


Tomas Weiss & Mathias Grassow "Quiet Calling III" CDr

Drone kings are back!!! Yes, Tomas Weiss & Mathias Grassow have delivered at the end of 2011 on El Culto's Musical Philosophy label third and closing installment of their "Quiet Calling" trilogy. Comprised of 4, rather lengthy parts (ranging from 6 minutes to nearly 25 minutes), all entitled "Final Call". This ultimate mind journey reveals with "Final Call I", as usual constructed with heavy weight drones, but this time wrapped in quite "lively" spiraling texture with slowly and gradually increasing tension. This longest part is filled with huge intensity and depth to trigger a definite mind-bending adventure!!! "Final Call I" could easily aspire for the "creme de la creme" of the complete serie!!! Closing five minutes of this part smoothly sneak into more monotonous and less massive, relieving drifts, yet still deeply droning. Just the same as with previous two chapters, there aren't any gaps between tracks, so we are confronted with colossal walls of continuous drones. Slowly breathing drone mastery continues on the shortest piece, "Final Call II". It's slightly more aerially and calmly tranquil than the monumental first part, even if in its middle we explore a bit of rapidly increasing intesity, but it's just a hint. The closing two parts, number three clocks over 21 and half minutes and number four gets over 16 minutes, feature monotonously curving atmospheres drifting into enormously expansive spaces and immersing each listener into a purely meditative sonic journey of deep relaxation. You will hardly notice the transformation between these last two pieces. Could be described as minimally textured, but careful examination of these uninterrupted dronescapes will explore layers of secretly cascading sounds, all skillfully structured into highly effective blend of deeply evocative sonic canvas. The finale is monstrously gracious and mesmerizing before it ultimately returns back to its roots, the silence. A must have and "a piece of tasty cake" for all followers to guarantee a superfluous listening experience always provocatively inviting for repeated research, but it might be a tough odyssey for an outsider. But who knows, maybe it's time to explore some new challenges... 4-panel eco digipak comes with traditional "Quiet Calling" images by Markus Vogt, this time with black and gray color variations.

Richard Gürtler (Jan 05, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

308
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich: Medicine Box (2011)
« on: January 04, 2012, 11:43:59 AM »
Hi Robert, in case you haven't read my review of "Medicine Box" CD, here is the link and feel free to explore my feelings about it:

http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=4449.0

All the best and enjoy the music... :)

Richard

309
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Peninsula" CDr by Nunc Stans
« on: January 04, 2012, 03:29:28 AM »


Nunc Stans "Peninsula" CDr

Nunc Stans' sole creator Anthony Paul Kerby returns with a brand new album released at the beginning of December 2011 on his DataObscura label. Usually heading to more drone based, icy northern sound, "Peninsula" is no exception. The album begins with a 10-minute title overture, "Peninsula", a calmly floating and organically breathing soundscape carefully picturing misty shorelines of the album's cover images where all forgotten memories seem to be still alive. "November Rain" gently drifts above rainy clouds and tranquilly extends the mood set by the opening composition. As much absorbing, but slightly more massive drifts invade the next piece, "We Must Leave", again enriched by relaxing location sounds of shoreline and sculpted with grace and nostalgia. Deeper drones reveal "Fathoms" and calmly carry them into absolutely peaceful and magnificent realms. Few more expressive, but fragile sound effects are added to emphasise the overall mood of this stunningly beautiful and strongly cinematic composition. A masterpiece!!! But this sonic bliss continues on "The Sea Becomes Still", with richly built altering and interplaying moods and movements. Highly evocative ambience, another big one! Monstrous heavy drones with watery sounds and occasional mysterious voice samples submerge "The Clarity Of Darkness" into the great depth of oceanic abyss to venture into the world of eternal darkness. Certainly one of my fave compositions on this album. Heavy drone wizardry by Nunc Stans at its best!!! And it keeps on expanding with "When The Sea Burns", where monumental drifts, spiced by various industrial rumblings on the background, superbly represent the track title. Dramatically culminating and powerfully expressive, 13-plus minutes long sonic opus, at its most droning and adventurous!!! "This Forgotten Place" draws the album to a gracious conclusion with its serenely gliding cinematic soundscapes. "Peninsula" is a skillfully crafted and polished work offering to each attentive listener deliciously rewarding sonic experience. Turn out the lights, turn up the volume and immerse yourself in this beautifully scenic journey!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 03, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

310


Hollan Holmes "The Farthest Fringes" CD

Exactly one year passed since the stunning debut CD "A Distant Light" of Texas based Hollan Holmes and the last days of 2011 brought to us another fascinating interstellar odyssey. Again accompanied by beautiful images on 6-panel eco wallet packaging, just the same eye-catching as with above album. "The Farthest Fringes" album is fired up with "Zero Point Energy", a truly graceful space ambience transporting the listener immediately into observing celestial objects. Skillfully enriched by small pulsing part and also incorporating assorted sonic outbursts that make from this composition absolutely blissful ride, most likely one of the best Hollan ever made, magnificent!!! "Timespace" shifts Hollan's star journeying into newer, more melodic level featuring less colossal sounds bridged with catchy sequenced downtempos. "Timespace" is freshly breathing and again painted by various, nicely fitting outer space effects. This uplifting voyage proceeds also on the next piece "The Great Unknown", where rotating sequenced melodies with floating washes are reminiscent of Berlin EM school. Slow-motion celestial dronescapes invade "Aeon" with all their gracefulness, with hints of more dramatic passages. It evokes realms of rare beauty, a star gazing at its most fascinating!!! But this exploration doesn't stop, because the next piece, "Outskirts", opens with expansive drifts that are soon spiced with highly attractive sharp sequences. This is absolutely gorgeous piece of music, definitely one of the highlights!!! Another strongly colorful and active texture follows with "The Sentinel", it's a kind of cinematic space symphony! The title track, "The Farthest Fringes" marks return to more static, beautifully monumental wall of washes enriched with slightly gradual tension. A really peaceful sound sculpting! "Earthshine" closes this wonderful odyssey with grandeur drifts evoking little bit of nostalgia. To tell you the truth, my first exploration of this CD came after two days of journeying with Steve Roach and his brilliant "Back To LIfe", so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was captured immediately by the opening tones of "Zero Point Energy". "The Farthest Fringes" album excells at its refined craftiness and distinctive diversity, and it's another big one from this hidden talent!!! Not to forget, the mastering job was handled by Chad Kettering, another rising ambient star from Texas. Hollan Holmes is living his dream now!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 03, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Richard Lainhart RIP
« on: January 02, 2012, 03:05:31 AM »
Thank you, Darren & Paul, for sharing with us your nice memories when working and meeting with Richard.

Sincere condolences for Richard's family and friends. Rest in peace and love, Richard!

Richard Gürtler

312
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Snowbound*" CD by Stormloop
« on: December 31, 2011, 10:22:37 AM »


Stormloop "Snowbound*" CD

In Leeds, UK, based sound journeyer Kevin Spence, who records as Stormloop, celebrates with "Snowbound*" his debut CD album. Released in November 2011 on Italian label Glacial Movements that covers glacial and isolationist ambient territory. Even if CD premiere for Stormloop, this project has already released another 12 download albums that are accompanied by gorgeous artworks/images created by Kevin Spence. As usual for all Glacial Movements releases, the first impression is always breathtaking due to stunning photographies of Bjarne Riesto and cover design by Keep Adding. Let's explore the sonics now. The opening composition "Snowbound" perfectly portrays the images of this release. I am writing these lines at the very last day of 2011, there is no snow outside yet here in Bratislava, Slovakia, but my listening room is immediately invaded by arctic snowscapes of Stormloop's intro melting graceful atmospheric ambience at its most coldest with distant, cyborg-like femme voice samples. During this 8-plus minutes long intro I am swiftly transported into these vast open and unknown, yet undiscovered white landscapes. Freezing deep drones of "Cold Winds" are enriched with flute-like sounds and various hisses and evoke quite mysterious feel, but always ice cold. Experimental windy drifs occupy the next piece, "A Blizzard", it's getting colder and colder, the snow is drifting and blowing. Nicely fitting track title! "A Calm Reflection" strikes with monstrously deep, ice wall of drones and opens the gates of great ice chasm to explore fascinating cavern. Shorter "Melt" brings to the fore fragile sounds of flowing water merged with celestial choir-like washes, pure tranquility, this time a bit warmer! Follows another shorter piece, "Dense Fog" that returns immediately into more monumental and reverberate dronescape territory. "Drifting-Decent" keeps on the shadowy route, but slightly lighter than its predecessor. It flows peacefully above immense arctic glaciers and plateaus. "Losing Sleep" is more uplifting with distant and repetitive trancey grooves. "Space Station J" is true to its name as it is invaded by aerial and tranquil soundwashes, enriched by distant and fragile mid-tempo strings and by occassional, darkened femme voices. "Cygnus" closes this magnificent voyage with deeply mysterious and minimal drifts with slowly breathing texture, this time colored with ghostly male voice samples. Grandiose outro!!! "Snowbound*" is highly absorbing and panoramic journey through spectacular vistas covered by snow and ice, a very strong CD debut by Stormloop!!! Please note, this album was recorded in longer time span, during the winters of 2005 and 2009 and there is bunch of tracks left that didn't make the final selection. All these extra tracks are now available as "Snowbound**-The Tracks Left In The Snow", download release, so act now!!!

Richard Gürtler (Dec 31, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Oophoi & Paul Vnuk jr
« on: December 30, 2011, 05:32:10 PM »
Just got mine copy too, can't wait to fully dive into it during the coming days.

Richard

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach 2012 Box Set
« on: December 30, 2011, 05:08:12 PM »
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Finally ordered the box set the other day. Although I received a copy from a good friend, I cant wait to receive my box set. I have every album, video's from Steve. I have listened to Back to Life twice already. Groove just the first 15 minutes. Will get into groove tonight when I have more time to explore. Then off to Mojave desert New Years Day evening for some star gazing with Steve Roach & Tangerine Dream music in the background. Thats how I can really get into the sound currents without any interuptions. Too much distraction with the family at home. Chill.

Hi dreamin4ever!!! It sounds absolutely wonderful, enjoy your New Year's Day evening dreaming!!!

Richard


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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach 2012 Box Set
« on: December 29, 2011, 01:03:25 AM »
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"Groove Immersion" is fantastic!  :) The best album of this year for me.

Hi Andrey, I still have to explore "Groove Immersion", because so far I was strongly focusing on "Back To Life". For me, this 2CD aspires for the best album of 2011 (or 2012?). No matter, if we melt our tastes, we get totally packed Box Set. Speaking about "Back To LIfe", it's a quite minimal "at the first look", but this journey features many "hidden" amazing sounds and atmospheres, all fragilely and serenely interplaying and moving just like the droplets from the album's cover image. A recording that showcases unlimited creativity and invention. I think it's just a question of time before both these groundbreaking recordings become another milestone in Steve's career. Yes, a truly genius performance by The Master, and for me, a truly magnificent and immersing listening experience!!!

All the best and keep on enjoying the music... :)

Richard

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Thank you, drone one!!! Yes, you are right, some out-of-print albums like "Nocturnal Emanations" or "Indalo" definitely would deserve re-press. I see they are available at Discogs, but at horrible prices. "Resonant Memory Of Earth" was reissued, so let's hope, even if I can imagine that it's not easy to handle it even if in smaller runs. But maybe they would be able to spread additional 200 pieces. But in any case, I am thankful that Bruno & Max keep on releasing their works as pressed CDs. I wish more artists could do it this way. All the best.

Richard

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Bruno Sanfilippo & Max Corbacho "BIOMA" CD

The two protagonists of Spanish ad21music label, Bruno Sanfilippo & Max Corbacho, have teamed up for their second collaborative effort entitled "BIOMA", released at the end of November 2011. The first one, "Indalo", was released back in 2003. "BIOMA" is quite different when comparing to "Indalo" or to any other of their previous solo works or Bruno's collaborations with Mathias Grassow. It remains in ambient genre, but with strong focus on field recordings collected in the landscapes of province Tarragona, Spain, during the spring of 2010. Location recordings of bird calls, insects, frogs and other water dwelling inhabitants, water sounds... are the base for this long form, clocking to 59 minutes, sonic palette merging carefully these environmental sounds with electronics. Some parts are very authentic, evoking nocturnal walk along the forest's pond and enjoying all the live performances of ecosystem's residents while some other sections move to more grasslanded areas spiced by assorted bells or cowbells, yet the texture remaining very tranquil. At times more high-tech escapades invade the environmentals too, but always keeping its character naturally colored, harmonious and living. Deeper, nightly drones come to the fore too, bringing this composition into more abstract level, but the organics won't lose this show and return back, even if few more experimentally breathing or echoed effects keep on enriching the texture. But also few more meditative, hypnotic moments can be explored when the sounds evoking singing bowls enter this walk. Last 12 minutes slowly return into natural beauty and tranquility to bring the album to the closing point where it all began. Both artists have managed refinely to melt and sculpt their own sonics with on-site phonographies to hold listener's attention through the entire piece. Yes, "BIOMA" is for sure different, but beautifully immersing and mesmerizing!!! Our two budgies love it too...:-) Hand-numbered elegant digipak is another bonus. Nice work, amigos!!!

Richard Gürtler (Dec 28, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)


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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach 2012 Box Set
« on: December 28, 2011, 02:06:28 AM »
"Back To Life" is a true masterwork!!! Time to explore "Groove Immersion"...

Have a wonderful end of the old year and beginning of the new one... :)

Richard

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This is really a good deal. I have both of these cd's and they are excellent.

My words, Harry... :)  Both CDs of Chad Kettering are highly recommended!!!

Richard

320
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Oophoi & Paul Vnuk jr
« on: December 03, 2011, 11:58:26 AM »
hello Richard,
"Dreamfields" will be available mid december.
I'll try to post the cover image later.
Gigi

Time to buy some Christmas gifts... :)

Richard

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